Monday, May 26, 2008


It is Monday morning... and we have plans today at the lake. But OH do I have things to blog about.

  • the return on Thursday to Cullman
  • the family together on Friday night
  • the CHRISTMAS IN MAY at our house on Saturday
  • Sunday- all together at church
  • Memorial Day - at the Lake


Love to you all

We are sooooooooooooooo blessed!

Ps. 86:12 "I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Word-filled Wednesday # 4

Psalms 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD,
"My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
Praise be to God...
Who is the Faithful One...
Who Protected our Son at War...
This is the passage that we prayed/claimed for him
(along with many others) for his deployment.
Thank you to those who prayed with us!
We truly are blessed beyond measure!
for more WFW posts - visit 160acrewoods

WW # 14 Deployment - Before and After


back at home...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our Visit with Jonathan

Just the facts....

We (Hal, DeeDee and Brantley) left immediately following the morning worship service to go to Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

About 5 miles from Camp Shelby, and immediately after talking to Jonathan - for him to let us know where to park and wait for him to be released - our car stopped. It just quit running! We were able to coast to a service road. After talking to Lee (our mechanic) he determined it was our timing belt.

Lee and Anita loaded Anita's Toyota Highlander on the tow truck - and began their journey to Hattiesburg. Thank the Lord that Lee is not only our mechanic - but Lee and Anita are WONDERFUL FRIENDS!

Then a wonderful Hattiesburg Police officer came to our rescue - and drove us to the base. (Note - Hal and DeeDee in the back seat - Brantley in the front seat) No, I did not take a picture of this... LOL. He even turned the lights on for a short time!

We arrived at the base before Jonathan was released... but we were not far from where he was unloading and he spotted us.

(He did not see us getting out of the police car though).

When we realized that it was him coming our way - I had to hurry to throw down all of my stuff in order to get the camera out - but I was able to capture the run to each other - and Brantley jumping into his arms!

What a precious moment!

Then after a few phone calls - Mark Windham's twin brother (who lives in Hattiesburg) - came to the base and let us use his car. What a special blessing to us! We were able to go out to eat (at Copeland's ummmm) and visit with Jonathan until Lee and Anita arrived.

We unloaded Anita's Highlander... drove to where the car was parked... Lee loaded the Camry on the tow truck and headed back to Alabama. We were able to stay and visit a little while longer before we drove back.

It was not as hard leaving him there this time. For we know that this time - he is home. He will be back in Alabama in a few days. The deployment is over. He is safe.

If I am able to figure out how to post a clip from my husband's message - I will do so soon. Which by the way - was a wonderful message to our graduating seniors - but also to all of us - about living a life that matters - and not wasting your life. So... go to the website and listen to it all... but for this particular blog... you really need to hear a clip. I will let you know if I am able to add it later. It is priceless considering our day!

But let me end by telling you all this: It was worth it all.

A broken down car
A blessed policeman who focused on serving
A friend coming to our aid and lending us his car

A wonderful friend/mechanic (and wife) who went far beyond the call of duty

Worth it all - to see our son.

To put our arms around him and get a wonderful hug.

To talk to him face to face.

To see him with Brantley.

To soak in the reality that our Loving Savior and Lord - protected our Son in the midst of war.


What a wonderful day! We are blessed beyond measure!

I still do not know how to load a video from youtube... so I will just end with this link.. go listen if you have time. It Has Always Been the Soldier.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

He's on the Way HOME!!!!

SPC Jonathan D. Warren
Our soldier is on the way home...right now!!!!
Psalms 138:7-8 :
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

We offer our praise to our Lord for his hand of protection..

My heart is full this morning. I am sitting on the balcony of the condo looking at the water and the beautiful blue sky...

Lots of praise going on in this heart of mine....

And as I think about Jonathan ... I want to share with you a song that has been my song for him for about the past 6 years....Our friend, Rick sings it for us at church (maybe we can talk him into singing it again soon).

Here are the words:

Mercy Said NO

I was just a child, when I felt the Savior leading

I was drawn to what I could not understand

And for the cause of Christ, I have spent my days believing

That what He'd have me be, is who I am

As I've come to see the weaker side of me

I realize His grace is what I'll need

When sin demanded justice for my soul

(Chorus)Mercy said no

I'm not going to let you go

I'm not going to let you slip away

You don't have to be afraid

Mercy said no

Sin will never take control

Life and death stood face to face

Darkness tried to steal my heart away

Thank You Jesus,

Mercy said no

For God so loved the world,

that He sent His son to save us

From the cross He built a bridge to set us free

Oh, but deep within our hearts,

there is still a war that rages

And makes a sacrifice so hard to see

As midnight fell upon the crucifixion day

The light of hope seemed oh so far away

As evil tried to stop redemption's flow

(Repeat Chorus)

And now when heaven looks at me

It's through the blood of Jesus

Reminding me of one day long ago

Mercy said no

I'm not going to let you go

I'm not going to let you slip away

You don't have to be afraid

Mercy said NO

Sin will never take control

Life and Death stood face to face

Darkness tried to steal my heart away

Thank you Jesus,


I'll probably be singing it all day. :)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thankful Thursday

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
I am thankful for:
  • My Lord - who is my strength and my shield
  • Vacation time away with my wonderful husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandbaby!
  • The BEACH....sand....ocean....
  • A beautiful condo to stay in....pools (even heated one)
  • My Soldier Son- who is coming home in just a few days
  • The wonderful new job for my other son-in-law
  • The freedom to write - and post it for the world to read :)
  • Precious friends

Of course there are many more...those are the ones fresh on my mind this morning.

And this passage ends with "and I will give thanks to Him in song"....

So let's sing today - praises to the KING of KINGS!

Blessings to you all - Have a wonderful day in the LORD

(for more Thankful Thursdays - visit with Iris at Sting my Heart)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday # 3

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

As beautiful as the flowers are in the spring time...

we know that they will "fade"...
But we can stand firm on the Word of God...

because it lasts forever!
(for more Word-filled Wednesdays - see 160acrewoods

WW # 13 The "Terrific" TWO

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chat Tonight is Cancelled

Sorry ... we will not be available to chat tonight....

Lots to do before our Jonathan comes home

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Mom… Momma… Mother…what ever you may call her – the very word brings immediate thoughts and memories to your mind and heart. So today I want to share with you about MY Mom... how she reflects the Heart of our Heavenly Father. There are many ways but they all are rooted in the fact that she has spent a lifetime “sitting” at the feet of our Savior..

Interestingly, her name is Mary. How fitting.

Early memories are of Mother taking my brothers and me to church with her. Dad was not a Christian (yet), so this role fell in her lap and she took it very seriously. Not only did we go, but we were very active. Worshipping our Savior with our church family was a priority in her life. She did not just take us – she went with us. She wanted us to “sit at His feet” along with her.

At home, Mom had her quiet time early in the morning before her day started – and we were witness to it. I can still picture her sitting at the dining room table with her Bible in front of her and a pen or marker in hand. Many times, as we would come into the room, she would be praying. Mary would be “sitting at His feet”…even when there was much work to do.

As I entered the teenage years, our church had a vibrant youth ministry. We had the privilege to travel and sing in many churches in the Southeast. Mom was a youth sponsor. I shared her with approximately 100 teens from our church. She was a teacher, counselor, and prayer warrior for us. Many of the youth who came through that ministry will testify of the influence of “Mrs. Mary” in their life. She loved us – taught us – cried with us – disciplined us – fed us – prayed with us – prayed for us. She wanted us to grow in our relationship with Christ – to sit and learn from the Master, and then to live a life that reflected His Image. She led us there.

Then Mother had the precious opportunity to lead my Father to Christ. He also had watched her live the life that she professed. She literally loved him to Christ. On that particular day, Dad left the house to go to work, only to come right back to the table where Mother was sitting. She was reading her Bible and praying. He told her, “Mary, I want what you have!” Now, this was not the first time that she had shared her faith with him. She had many times in the past. But on that day, when the Spirit called him, Dad came back in the house for Mother to lead him to her Savior. What a beautiful testimony. She gently took a gospel tract, went through it page-by-page and then led my Dad in prayer as he accepted Christ as his Savior. Once again, she had been “sitting at His feet” when Dad came through the room.

Even in her work, she has been bold in sharing her faith. She was (and still is) a dental hygienist. We have often joked with her about getting all of those instruments in the mouth of her patient and then with a captive audience –sharing with them about her Savior. Many patients have asked her to pray with them even before they leave her room. She lives what she believes. She is a reflection of the very Heart of God and people are drawn to Him through her life.

My earthly Father died several years ago. I have observed her grief. Scripture is true that says, “we do not grieve as those who have no hope” (I Thess. 4:13b) and I have seen that blessed hope in her. As Mother has moved into the role of a widow, I have witnessed the beauty of her faith and the evidence of her walk with her Savior.

Mother sold her home and moved to the city where I live. She is active in our church with us. Her ministry has changed. She was a Sunday School teacher for as long as I can remember. She has taught many women’s classes. She has mentored more than I can count. But as she moved into our church, God literally placed her in a vibrant prayer ministry. Knowing she was a prayer warrior, many would come to her with requests. She began keeping a prayer notebook. As someone would share his or her request with Mom, she would write it down.

She is now 70 years old. She still rises early – she says it is when God wakes her up. She prays through the notebook daily. She keeps notes. She stays current on the requests. I have had many come and tell me, “I am number --- on Mary’s prayer list!” We have even had people to call my husband (the pastor) and tell him a specific request – only to have them say – “Will you also ask Mary to pray and put this request on her list?” We love it!

So as I look at her life… I see a mom who took her children with her to church. I see a youth leader who taught, mentored and loved many teens. I see a wife who lived her life in such a way to lead her husband to Christ – literally. I see a teacher who has taught many how to “eat at His table”. I see a widow who has found comfort in letting our Father in heaven be a “husband to the husbandless”. I see a prayer warrior who consistently and faithfully intercedes for many.

Mary truly reflects the Heart of Our Heavenly Father. She has spent a lifetime sitting as His feet and learning from Him. I am so blessed to call her Mom.

Oh, and by the way, her best friend’s name is Martha. Really.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Forgiveness (cont.)

Next thought...

Years ago Hal and I went to a "Basic Youth Conflict" Seminar by Bill Gothard. I think it has a different name now. (I am talking YEARS ago) But one particular truth that was taught has stayed fresh in my mind and life. Probably because it is one that comes up often.

It is this: "Taking up an offense" - God does not give us grace to deal with an offense that we take up. Now, what do I mean by this? I mean someone else's offense.

Maybe the reason I have held on to it... and have had to deal with it so much ... is that I am a MOM.

Mother Bear and her Mother bear claws come out when someone offends one of my children or my husband. It happens instantly. I do not have to work on it. I do not have to practice it. I do not have to work it up. It is there. Immediately.

What I do have to work at is letting it go. I have to work at laying it at the feet of my Savior. I have to work on leaving it there. I have to work at forgiving. And it is HARD WORK. For you see... God does not give me grace to deal with an offense that I take up. It is not my offense. I have just taken it. I want to fix it. I want to appeal to God for Him to fix it. ... (or maybe He could zap someone... )

I am just being real here, ok?

But follow me... that is why the offended one can forgive much quicker. God gives them grace to do so. That is why the offended one can forget. GRACE.

So... I just tell you this. Sometimes God grants us what we do not deserve. Sometimes He allows (or maybe I should say requires) the offender to ask forgiveness of those who have taken up the offense. Sometimes our Savior knows...that will help with a little deeper healing of those deep, deep wounds.

Now, please don't spend your time trying to figure out my wounds. Just let God deal with you and yours. For you see, we all have them. And we could get in a "one up" contest. Or a "that's nothing" contest.

Your wound could not possibly be as bad as mine...

Oh...That's nothing..

Let me tell you what happened to me!

You see what I am talking about?
I could make a list of wounds that we have had personally or wounds of people that we have counseled with over the years. And this list could go on and on and on... and no matter what you deal with... it hurts. It wounds.

That comes back to the original topic. Forgiveness. WE are called to forgive. We will display God's Glory when we do.

Ok.... Now... Can I really be transparent for just a minute?

I have had a really hard situation to deal with for several years. I have had an offense that I took up... and I knew it. I was and I guess will always be a MOMMA BEAR. I do have MOMMA BEAR CLAWS. I tried for years to let it go. I have prayed. I have taken it to the alter. I have picked it back up and carried it back with me.

But I finally forgave. I finally let it go. And then, I finally had a little healing. The scar was still large but the wound was healed. And I KNEW that healing was taking place becauce I was finally able to begin praying for the offender. Finally able to see them and not get physically sick to my stomach. Finally able to talk to them and not feel a knot in my throat...or have my heart drop to my feet.

Then... God gave me what I did not deserve... they had the willingness - by the prompting of the Spirit - to ask for forgiveness. To apologize and ask for us (Hal and me) to forgive them. What a release! What a breath of fresh air! What a freedom! What a gift. For I know that I was not the offended one. Oh, don't get me wrong... I was hurt... I was affected. But I also was on the outskirts of the situation looking in.

Thank you Jesus - for more than I deserved. Thank you Jesus for freedom. Thank you Jesus for healing. Thank you Jesus for preparing my heart ahead of time so that I would be ready to forgive. Really forgive.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Here is a quote from the book, Forgive and Forget, by Lewis B. Smedes:

When we forgive, we perform a miracle hardly anyone notices:

  • We do it alone - in the private place of our inner selves

  • We do it silently - no one can record our miracle on tape

  • We do it invisibly - no one can record our miracle on film

  • We do it freely - no one can ever trick us into forgiving someone

But when we forgive, we heal the hurt we never deserved.

Scripture says in Colossians 3:13," Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. may be wondering why I am blogging about this ??? I guess I just need to say that it is an area in our lives that is hard... and yet so necessary. I once read - "We never look more like Christ than when we forgive: since that's God's goal, we're destined for plenty of opportunities!"

Beth Moore says it so well in her book, Praying God's Word, (pg 220):

Let's face it. Each of us has been confronted by some pretty overwhelming challenges to forgive. Some seem...well, unforgivable. We argue with God that all inflicted hurts are not created equally. For instance, sometimes the person who hurt us isn't sorry. Or won't take responsiblity. Or is in the grave. Or the person might be sorry but refuses to recompense. Perhaps the person simply doesn't deserve our forgiveness. After all, forgiveness makes everything OK, and we want the record to show; we're not OK!.... If only we could understand that God's unrelenting insistence on our forgiveness is for our own sakes, not the sake of the one who hurt us. God is faithful. He will plead our case and take up our cause... but only when we make a deliberate decision to cease representing ourselves in the matter.

Time restraints once again keep me from continuing with this today... Maybe that means this is all that I need to say for now.

So, I will leave you with this. Don't try to figure out why I am writing about it today. My issues are my issues. Let the Lord help you with yours if applicable in your life at this time.

Love to you all!

Friday, May 2, 2008

No time to Blog

Ok... I really do not even have time to be writing this...

But I at least want to tell you what is brewing in this blogging mind of mine and what is hopefully "coming soon".
I need to blog about Julia's birthday. My First Born. (a belated birthday blog)
I need to blog about Aubrey's birthday. My First Grandbaby. (hopefully before it is late)
I need to blog about Jenifer's new photography business. My Baby.
I need to blog about Jonathan coming home. My Soldier. My Son.
I need to blog about Jonathan and Brantley's wedding planning. So exciting!
I just need to blog.

Jonathan keeps telling me to just sit down and write. Not word and re-word. No planning ahead...just write. That is not my style... and not even sure if I could do it. (just to let you know Jonathan - I posted this blog and have already edited it three times! ! !)

Maybe that will be a blog soon too. Maybe it would help with my "blogger's" block. That along with some time.

Speaking of time... checkout out our other blog to read my thoughts about that.

Have a wonderful Friday!
Hopefully - there will be some other blogs soon!